Sunday, 21 December 2008

Runypo 21.12.1903

My Dear Delia,

Well I can't say this reminds me very much of Christmas. Here we are in Camp alone, only another Officer - the Transport Officer - and myself sharing the responsibility of this large Command. Captain Bliss of the 3rd Pioneers is the Transport Officer and he and I know that the last of Gurkhas - they left this morning for Guntak not for the front - have left the Station - we are going to mess together in the Dake Bungalow.

An amusing incident occurred this afternoon. Two coolies passing through the camp, carrying a Turkey, Christmas cake and other good Christmas delicacies up to the Chumbi Valley for Major Beckhampton one of the staff up there. The Coolies are going to pass the night here in Camp with some of my men and already the Turkey is grazing about the camp. I shall not be at all surprised to hear it had disappeared during the night!!! I have 4 hungry Topias attached to my hospital who have very slack ideas as to the rights of ownership.

I am not at all certain where my Christmas day will be spent as there are rumours of mules arriving here on the 23rd. If so we may be able to start for Chumbi on the 24th. If so my two assistants and myself will spend Christmas day on the march - but we shall certainly supply ourselves with the best Christmas cheer we can find at the local store here.

I can imagine what a jolly Christmas week this is in town - all the shops so gay and bright and so much going on. I should so much like to go shopping in the evening and see everyone about so smart and jolly. I dearly love Christmas time in London - out here one misses everything of Christmas as there are no shops, no crowds of people, no entertainments going on.

However one thing that I have in front of me at this very moment - is a huge campfire nearly ½ Ton of logs composing it which has just been collected and lighted by my Tibetan dandy man. In fact it is so large that I am keeping a good look that no sparks fly on to Tents or the Hospital Stores which are packed not very distant away.

I hope you will receive those Christmas cards safely. I did not send you one as they were very scarce and I had written to you a long letter. I received your mail letter safely again this week, in it you thanked me for the cheque which I am glad had arrived all right. I suppose at the end of this month I ought to be receiving some dividends from my shares. Directly I hear this I will send you a cheque as a New Year's present. At present I have only about £20 at the Holts and there is my Insurance and Annual Subscription coming due so I don't like to spend any more on this.

I think I ought to be able to save in this "show" but at present living is very expensive and my Outfit has cost a lot of money. I am sending Tim a letter for Anglo French Exploration Co. which will ask him to send on as I don't know the address having brought no papers or documents of any kind with me. I have not had a letter from Bertie since I started. I heard however about him from a Captain Sheppard R9/- who had just come from Raoakee he said he was well - but very busy on a Barrack Project which he had to do for a Forunation so I suppose it is alright.

I shall think of you all on Christmas Day and if I can get any Port, drink your health. Much love to you all - Tim, the kiddies and all the girls.

Your Affectionate Brother Cecil.

PS I wonder when I shall see a dear girl again.

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